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France boosts military presence amid intense fighting in Abidjan

France boosts military presence amid intense fighting in Abidjan
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As forces loyal to rival leaders in Ivory Coast continue to battle for control of the commercial capital, France has boosted its military presence.

French soldiers are now reported to be in control of Abidjan’s main airport and Paris has sent an extra 300 troops to back up its force there.

The soldiers, along with UN peacekeepers, have been moving foreigners to the safety of a military camp.

Forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo have shown reporters bodies outside the main state tv and radio building, which was attacked by rival forces.

People continue to flee the city, amid fierce fighting between pro-Gbagbo soldiers and fighters supporting presidential challenger Alassane Ouattara.

Western leaders have been pleading with Gbagbo to step down to avoid further conflict, amid reports some 800 people were killed in one town alone.

The international community recognises Ouattara as the winner of elections held in November.

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